If you can't be ABOVE the law, BE the Law.
July 20, 2007 5:27 PM   Subscribe

This post was deleted for the following reason: this is one of those post-post trainwrecks we were talking about in Meta just today.... If your political post, loosely paraphrased is just "look at these assholes" it is probably not a good post for metafilter. -- jessamyn



 
Romney's entire campaign staff are now criminals--it's hysterical.
posted by amberglow at 5:34 PM on July 20, 2007


he and other staffers (Boston Herald Link) ... so it was systemic, not just Garrity?
posted by R. Mutt at 5:34 PM on July 20, 2007


I'm mostly posting this because, well, how do adult staffers a national campaign do something this stupid, something they know is illegal and will hurt the campaign when it inevitably comes to light? This seems like something even amateurs would know better than to do.
posted by orthogonality at 5:37 PM on July 20, 2007


Geez, orthogonality. Lighten up.

They're just practicing for when they're in power.
posted by hexatron at 5:42 PM on July 20, 2007


I wonder if anything will happen.
posted by blacklite at 5:43 PM on July 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Republicans are the result of all the sperm that didn't have to swim for some reason.
posted by Brian B. at 5:45 PM on July 20, 2007 [2 favorites]


I believe these "criminals" have very good reasons to not fear the rule of the law. The law has become a joke, like pieces of a broken dam floating downstream.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 5:48 PM on July 20, 2007


"how do adult staffers a national campaign do something this stupid"
Wingnuts I have known love uniforms and badges and stuff, they just don't want to have to wear them in a situation where they might actually have to face anything more dangerous than some tie-dye wearing vegan with a protest sign.
posted by 2sheets at 5:49 PM on July 20, 2007 [2 favorites]


R. Mutt writes "he and other staffers (Boston Herald Link) ... so it was systemic, not just Garrity?"

Garrity was the campaign's Director of Operations (he's now "on leave"); according to the article, he used a fake badge himself and directed staffers to use the badges. Allegedly, It was Garrity who pulled over a New York Times reporter and claimed have "run" the reporter's license plate, and who identified himself on the phone as "Trooper Garrity with the Massachusetts State Police" when calling in a complaint to another person's employer.

Which just makes Garrity seem like an idiot or a crank or a faux-power tripper; but allegedly directing other staffers to impersonate police, in his professional capacity as campaign Director of Ops, takes it to a whole new level of stupid.
posted by orthogonality at 5:57 PM on July 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


The Republican Party had operatives post flyers in poor minority neighborhoods in Florida in 2004 saying that if they showed up to vote and had debts they would be arrested. Fake IDs don't even hit the top of the list of shitty tactics.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:09 PM on July 20, 2007


America is making me very sad this week.
posted by chudmonkey at 6:12 PM on July 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Impersonating an officer is pretty deeply illegal, isn't it?
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:20 PM on July 20, 2007


Once upon a time, I would have expected something like this to have torpedoed Romney's campaign. But the current rules in the press seem to be: don't make anything a big deal if a Republican does it.

So I'm sure this will be nicely contained for good ol' Mitt. I'm sure no one will even hear of it.

Now, if Romney had a D after his name...

(This is not so much bias on the part of the media. Rather, they are incredibly lazy any more, and want to be lead around by the nose. The Republican party has a giant, multi-tiered, and effective noise machine to do just that: tell the media what to think. The Democrats don't have that, so they can't get the media to think things like this ought to be reported).
posted by teece at 6:22 PM on July 20, 2007 [2 favorites]


The Republican Party had operatives post flyers in poor minority neighborhoods in Florida in 2004 saying that if they showed up to vote and had debts they would be arrested. Fake IDs don't even hit the top of the list of shitty tactics.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:09 PM on July 20 [+] [!]


Oh Man! I'd love to have a link to that!
posted by rockhopper at 6:23 PM on July 20, 2007


Under state law, it is illegal to use a badge without authority, an offense that carries a fine of not more than $50.

Ladies and gentlemen, the great state of Massachusetts!
posted by dhammond at 6:24 PM on July 20, 2007


If not for fear of getting banned, I would say something like "fucking Mass-hole cock-gobblers".
posted by Mister_A at 6:37 PM on July 20, 2007




Well, it is about fifty times worse than jaywalking.
posted by Plutor at 6:38 PM on July 20, 2007


rockhopper: "The Republican Party had operatives post flyers in poor minority neighborhoods in Florida in 2004 saying that if they showed up to vote and had debts they would be arrested. Fake IDs don't even hit the top of the list of shitty tactics.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:09 PM on July 20 [+] [!]


Oh Man! I'd love to have a link to that!
"

Here you go!
posted by octothorpe at 6:42 PM on July 20, 2007 [2 favorites]


Jay Garrity has been up to these tricks for a while.
"As he did in the State House when Romney was governor, Garrity plays the role of gatekeeper on the presidential campaign. Frequently seen in a pressed suit with a coiled earpiece in his ear and a microphone tucked into his sleeve, he shadows Romney at his public campaign appearances, shuttles him from event to event, and carefully monitors Romney's dealings with the public and the media trailing the campaign.

...In 2004, the Globe reported, Garrity was cited and fined for driving a Crown Victoria with red and blue lights mounted in the grill, a siren, a PA system, and strobe lights; and for having a nightstick and identification showing a State Police patch that read 'Official Business.'"*
posted by ericb at 6:43 PM on July 20, 2007


When governor Romney maintained an Office of Operations that was sort of informal secret service for the governor.
"In February, the [Office of Operations] team relocated to a suite in the basement of the State House. The door is affixed with the number 'LXX,' Roman numerals for 70, because Romney is the 70th Bay State governor.

Some office staff, who all wear LXX pins, fashion themselves as U.S. Secret Service agents, referring to Romney in their earpieces and audio-equipped wrist pieces as '70' - similar to the way the Secret Service agents identify President Bush as '43' because he is the 43rd president."*
Garrity and his goons sure liked to "dress-up" and play "cop."
posted by ericb at 6:47 PM on July 20, 2007


octothorpe,

Thanks a lot for the link, but I was hoping for the flyer, cuz I want to show people what those evil repugni's did.
posted by rockhopper at 6:49 PM on July 20, 2007


The Boston Herald's take on Garrity's 2004 incident:
"A top aide to Gov. Mitt Romney was cited last week for tooling around with illegal police equipment in his private car - from lights and sirens to batons and heavily tinted windows.

Romney’s director of operations, Jay A. Garrity, had parked the car illegally in the North End and police ordered it towed.

Police discovered a set of red-and-blue flashing lights hidden in the grill - equipment for which Garrity has no permit.

Cops also found a siren and public address system, multiple police radios, strobe lights on the wheels, a police baton and a metal plate with a photo of a state police patch that said 'official business.'

'Apparently this kid’s a wannabe cop,' said one source familiar with the situation."
posted by ericb at 6:50 PM on July 20, 2007


This almost makes me hate Romney. Oh wait...I'm already from Massachusetts.
posted by uosuaq at 6:52 PM on July 20, 2007


Oh Man! I'd love to have a link to that!

No problemo!
FLORIDA

Will the fiasco-prone Sunshine State be the next ... Florida? That's the question that has haunted observers of Florida's election system since the debacle of 2000. Six years later, Florida is still Florida, only more so. Florida still has a Republican governor, Legislature, and secretary of state, and still doesn't have voter-verified paper trails for its vulnerable voting machines. Hundreds of thousands of voters remain at serious risk of being robbed of the vote.

This year, however, it also has a package of new voting rules, like restrictions on voter registration campaigns. The fines for violations are now so stiff that they forced the League of Women Voters to suspend its voter drives in the state for the first time in nearly 70 years. Each misplaced blank registration form means a potential penalty of $5,000. Just 16 misplaced blank forms, even if destroyed by a hurricane, could cost the Florida League $80,000 -- its entire annual state budget.

Another codicil in the new state voting law essentially endorses the thuggery of 2000. It permits roving bands of political partisans -- the same sort of goons who banged on the glass doors at the Miami election board six years ago to halt the recount -- to descend on inner-city precincts to challenge any voter's right to cast a vote on Election Day. The challenged voter will then be forced to use what reformers call a "placebo ballot" -- a provisional ballot that makes the voter feel like he voted, except the vote will count only if he comes back later to offer written proof that he was entitled to vote. "The use of challenges is likely to disenfranchise a lot of people," observes Lida Rodriquez-Taseff, the chair of the Miami-Dade Election Reform Coalition.

Salon's shameful six
See also The GOP's Shameful Vote Strategy

Oh, one could Google Voter Suppression 2004, for that matter...

And perhaps you've heard about these US Attorney firings...
posted by y2karl at 6:53 PM on July 20, 2007


Shame on you octothorpe, for calling a bluff. Grind grind grind! Besides, poor people don't need to vote anyway. It just confuses them.

Also, I think I'm going to have a rage-induced brain aneurysm if this keeps up.
posted by Avenger at 6:53 PM on July 20, 2007


This was in the Boston Globe last Friday:

Police Impersonators Preying with Ease
"Their tools -- blue lights, badges, batons -- are easier than ever to buy on the Internet, law enforcement officials say. And their methods are frighteningly effective. Police say it takes very little to persuade motorists and others to obey commands from someone they believe is a police officer.

...Police - gear vendors typically require identification from would-be buyers to prove they work for law enforcement, but say the proliferation of online sales of official equipment has made it much easier for people to get the trappings to impersonate an officer."
posted by ericb at 6:56 PM on July 20, 2007


It must not be very easy to find the actual flyer. Surely someone somewhere scanned one and posted it online.
posted by rockhopper at 6:59 PM on July 20, 2007


rockhopper writes "Oh Man! I'd love to have a link to that!"

Yeah, I bet you would.

Anyway, since I'm such a nice guy: Not the exact example he cited, but here and here (both PDFs), and here.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:01 PM on July 20, 2007


rockhopper writes "It must not be very easy to find the actual flyer. Surely someone somewhere scanned one and posted it online."

Surely you have a point to make?
posted by krinklyfig at 7:02 PM on July 20, 2007


y2karl,

It must be true because you can google it.
posted by rockhopper at 7:03 PM on July 20, 2007


So, show us some links to actual widespread voter fraud, why don't you ?
posted by y2karl at 7:03 PM on July 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


y2karl,

I have a response to that...uh What?
posted by rockhopper at 7:05 PM on July 20, 2007


not your flyer but last paragraph here talks about a similar incident. BUt kind of a derail to the main story here I guess.


Wild guess is this is going to be a big lead weight on Mit's campaign. McCain is bombing, Mit is sinking. We have Rudy and Fred. If Gore Jumps in and things align we could have an election where the Pres and VP candidates are all from TN and NY.
posted by edgeways at 7:06 PM on July 20, 2007


krinklyfig,

Yes, my point is:

Show me the flyer.
posted by rockhopper at 7:07 PM on July 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'll take one nibble at the trolling.

Other "vote suppression" flyers from the 2004 election:
Flyer distributed around Milwaukee's African American communities.

West Virginia, Ohio, Wisconsin and Alabama.
posted by ericb at 7:11 PM on July 20, 2007 [2 favorites]


Don't forget that None Of The Above now leads all other candidates circling the drain among Republicans in national Presidential choice polls.
posted by y2karl at 7:12 PM on July 20, 2007


IT'S NOT TRUE UNLESS IT'S WHEATPASTED ON A SIGNPOST, Y'ALL.
posted by dhammond at 7:13 PM on July 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Moving on from voter suppression flyers and back to the topic at hand ...

If Romney was aware of these "stunts" by Garrity and his crew, what does it say about Romney's judgment that he would approve of them while running for President?
posted by ericb at 7:13 PM on July 20, 2007


Thanks, ericb.
posted by rockhopper at 7:14 PM on July 20, 2007


You could also ask if he was unaware of what was going on in his campaign if he is capable of running the country? Then again blistering ignorance hasn't really stopped at least 50% of the presidents in the last 25 years.
posted by edgeways at 7:16 PM on July 20, 2007


ericb writes "If Romney was aware of these 'stunts' by Garrity and his crew, what does it say about Romney's judgment that he would approve of them while running for President?"

Yes. And even if he wasn't aware of it, what does it imply about the people he'd pick as his closest advisors, his Cabinet, judges, ambassadors, and executive appointees? Heckuva job, Brownie!

As others have pointed out Garrity's been doing this for years, and had a bunch of staff doing it; Romney didn't notice even once that his staff were breaking the law Romney took an oath to uphold as Massachusetts's Governor?
posted by orthogonality at 7:19 PM on July 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


The current Republicnan field certainly does give a whole new meaning to the phrase pack of losers. Polarizing a figure as she is, Hillary could probably whip any of their sorry asses even after she was caught in bed with a dead woman.
posted by y2karl at 7:20 PM on July 20, 2007


y2karl writes "Polarizing a figure as she is, Hillary could probably whip any of their sorry asses even after she was caught in bed with a dead woman."

Except she's well-hated enough to lose the Dems a walk-away election when the nation desperately needs the healong only a non-Republican can provide.

Which tells us what Hillary's priorities are.
posted by orthogonality at 7:23 PM on July 20, 2007


Hey, rockhopper, you might want to email Mr. Haughey- it looks like tadellin stole your login.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:28 PM on July 20, 2007


thanks Skeeter....who's tadellin?
posted by rockhopper at 7:29 PM on July 20, 2007


Thanks, ericb.

So, what have we learned today, rockhopper?
posted by mediareport at 7:29 PM on July 20, 2007


So, what have we learned today, rockhopper?
posted by mediareport at 9:29 PM on July 20 [+] [!]


That no one could produce the Florida flyer.
posted by rockhopper at 7:30 PM on July 20, 2007


I don't have the flyer either, but when it comes to alienating black people, it's tough to top this.
posted by fungible at 7:37 PM on July 20, 2007


rockhopper writes "That no one could produce the Florida flyer."

And what, exactly, does that mean? Surely there must be a larger point you're trying to make.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:38 PM on July 20, 2007


The fact is, the Republican party itself is a criminal organization. They are not playing by the rules. The party needs to be dismantled and its leaders imprisoned.
posted by empath at 7:39 PM on July 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Once upon a time, I would have expected something like this to have torpedoed Romney's campaign. But the current rules in the press seem to be: don't make anything a big deal if a Republican does it.

Especially Romney: ... Fairly or unfairly, there's also a difference in narrative timing: when the first quarter ended, the press was trying to bury Edwards. It's not so much interested in burying Romney right now -- many reporters think he's the Republican frontrunner.
posted by amberglow at 7:40 PM on July 20, 2007


That's it empath! You are well on your way to run the new Democratic Party.
posted by rockhopper at 7:40 PM on July 20, 2007



Oh, I don't care for Hillary, orthogonality, or give that much for her chances. 2008 is a log wasy away. It was just a tossed off remark about what a sorry lot of flip flopping cardboard cutouts are climbing all over each other like drowning miners at the bottom of a cesspool cave in pandering to the proverbial base. It's like Schadenfreude on Steroids to watch them all crash and burn by turn.
posted by y2karl at 7:47 PM on July 20, 2007


Nice derail, rockhopper. I'm going to save you the trouble by pointing out that Ted Kennedy killed a woman in a drunk driving accident, Robert Byrd was briefly in the KKK about 50 years ago.

Also, Abraham Lincoln was a Republican and he freed the slaves.
posted by dhammond at 7:47 PM on July 20, 2007


long ways away, to be sure....
posted by y2karl at 7:48 PM on July 20, 2007


Oh, I don't care for Hillary, orthogonality, or give that much for her chances. 2008 is a log wasy away. It was just a tossed off remark about what a sorry lot of flip flopping cardboard cutouts are climbing all over each other like drowning miners at the bottom of a cesspool cave in pandering to the proverbial base. It's like Schadenfreude on Steroids to watch them all crash and burn by turn.
posted by y2karl at 9:47 PM on July 20 [+] [!]


Both sides are doing that, and it's only your bias that's keeping you from seeing it.
posted by rockhopper at 7:49 PM on July 20, 2007


I'm going to save you the trouble by pointing out that Ted Kennedy killed a woman in a drunk driving accident, Robert Byrd was briefly in the KKK about 50 years ago.

Buh, buh, what about Clinton? He did it too!!!
posted by ericb at 7:50 PM on July 20, 2007


dhammond,

What else needs to be said on newsfilter? Romney's guy is a control freak and Romney is incompetent for having him on his team. It's been said, already. No debate was happening in this thread, no new ideas discussed, no revelations - it's is news-politics filter at its worst.
posted by rockhopper at 7:51 PM on July 20, 2007


Can I get an 'amen'?
posted by rockhopper at 7:52 PM on July 20, 2007


“One guy allegedly impersonates an officer? Romney has plausible deniability. A whole group of aides are all given phony badges, which they’re encouraged to use? Romney starts to look like he’s the head of some kind of criminal enterprise.

How could the candidate not know?

I almost laughed at the carefully-worded statement from the Romney campaign:
‘No one on the Mitt Romney for President campaign is authorized to use a badge, nor has the campaign provided anyone with a badge,’ the statement reads. ‘Jay Garrity is not working on the campaign because he continues to be on a leave of absence.’
Well, of course civilians on the campaign aren’t ‘authorized’ to use phony badges; it’s illegal. And of course the campaign wasn’t handing out phony badges to Romney staffers; that would be stupid.

The question is whether the candidate’s director of operations distributed them unofficially, whether they were used, and whether Romney was aware of the whole scheme.

Note to political reporters: this story is far more interesting than John Edwards’ hair, Hillary Clinton’s clothes, and Barack Obama’s opinions on kindergarten curricula.”*
posted by ericb at 7:54 PM on July 20, 2007


Jay Garrity has officially resigned from the Romney campaign.
posted by ericb at 7:55 PM on July 20, 2007


If you are a successful local/state politician and you wish to run for national office higher than the House of Representatives, the first thing you need to do is fire all your old staffers. Yeah, they've been loyal troopers and seen you through many a year, but they will always always be not ready for the bigtime of national politics. Always.

Even if Governor Bleeding's mom was his chief campaign adviser, he'd fire her the moment he thought he had a chance at the White House.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:58 PM on July 20, 2007


Jay Garrity has officially resigned from the Romney campaign.

Do you have the flyer?
posted by dhammond at 8:00 PM on July 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sorry, no flyer -- so it must not be true. But, "It must be true because you can google it."
posted by ericb at 8:04 PM on July 20, 2007


Romney is absolutely not ready for prime time, and he will not be the nominee.
posted by rockhopper at 8:04 PM on July 20, 2007


Not unlike Rudy, Fred and John....
posted by y2karl at 8:07 PM on July 20, 2007


y2karl,

Keep your eye on Fred....
posted by rockhopper at 8:07 PM on July 20, 2007


Ah, see, it wasn't the campaign's fault, it wasn't even Garrity's fault:
"What these people were doing was strategic advance for a sitting governor. They would pull out their official business cards and people would say, `That's nice, but don't you have something different?'" [Garrity spokeswoman Nancy] Sterling said.
"People" who met Governor Romney's staffers were so disappointed to be presented with regular paper business cards (you know, like every Congressional staffer or non-law-enforcement political appointee I've ever had a drink with had), that those unspecified "people" just insisted that they get themselves some proper-looking metal badges! Garrity et al. were just succumbing to popular demand, to the Will of the People!
posted by orthogonality at 8:10 PM on July 20, 2007


They shoulda presented flyers.
posted by rockhopper at 8:11 PM on July 20, 2007


Keep your eye on Fred....

Yeah, that higher fat content will make for a more psectacular crash and burn for Mr. ProChoice Before I Was ProLife Empty Suit McTrophy Wife. Grasping at straw men at Fred Thompson proves my point. What a bunch of losers.
posted by y2karl at 8:16 PM on July 20, 2007


Easy there fella, you're gonna give yourself a stroke fer chrissakes.
posted by rockhopper at 8:17 PM on July 20, 2007


Romney is absolutely not ready for prime time, and he will not be the nominee.

Exactly. His 'flip-flopping'* in pursuit of the conservative vote is/will 'do/ing him in.'
"Romney committed himself to pro choice policies and miscellaneous moderate social stands in order to run for office in Massachusetts, and with good political reason. It would be hard to imagine a pro life, anti-gay rights social conservative winning a Massachusetts governor's race. Once elected, Romney used Massachusetts as the launchpad he intended from the start. He began the dramatic political retooling that he hopes will win him the Republican nomination, then the presidency.

In that regard, gay rights and the gay marriage issue hold similar peril for Romney. When he was running against Edward M. Kennedy, Romney said he would be a stronger advocate for gay rights than the liberal senator. Conservative critics also charge that as governor, he unnecessarily implemented same-sex marriage after the state's highest court declared that gay couples have a right to marry. In a compilation entitled, 'The Mitt Romney Deception,' Romney critic [and anti-gay activist] Brian Camenker holds Romney accountable for gay marriage in Massachusetts on the grounds that he 'jumped the gun and needlessly advanced the homosexual agenda by granting marriage rights without a fight.'

Such critics are forcing Romney to explain what he said as a gubernatorial candidate, and why. But Republican primary voters may also give Romney credit for speaking out against his home state now, as they question how much any single Republican could do to stop the liberal tide demonstrated by the gay marriage vote.

Meanwhile, there's some poetic justice in the fact that whenever Romney looks in the rearview mirror, a Massachusetts liberal is not far behind."*

posted by ericb at 8:18 PM on July 20, 2007


like Fred Thompson, that is....
posted by y2karl at 8:20 PM on July 20, 2007


Exactly. His 'flip-flopping'* in pursuit of the conservative vote is/will 'do/ing him in.'

Unlike Rudy, Fred and John ?
posted by y2karl at 8:24 PM on July 20, 2007


y2karl,

Rudy is the same way IMO. John has a temperment problem. Fred...well he has a certain something.
posted by rockhopper at 8:26 PM on July 20, 2007


Keep your eye on Fred....

Right, said Fred Thompson.
"I'm Too Sexy."
posted by ericb at 8:26 PM on July 20, 2007


« Older Will it blend?   |   Wondertwin powers, activate! Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments